We are living in a new reality. Everything has changed and it’s still taking a lot of adjusting, so everything feels a little off, but could it be more than that? There are signs and symptoms that there is more going on than just this new reality of 2020. You may be experiencing soul exhaustion. Your heart and mind are preoccupied with what’s going on around you, all the changes, the fear, the frustration and suddenly, your body starts reacting. Your body, mind and spirit are interconnected. When your mind is stressed, your body will begin to show the symptoms. When the physical symptoms begin to manifest, the first thing you’ll want to do is treat them. The symptoms will go away for a short time with some treatment, but they’ll soon return. Why? Well, treating the symptoms won’t erase the cause. Your emotional struggles are not resolved by treating physical side effects. You must heal your mind, body and spirit.
Your soul may be exhausted and you need to recognize the signs and symptoms. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you need to seek help.
1. You’re physically exhausted all the time
How many times have you gone to bed early feeling exhausted? You think all that’s needed is a couple of extra hours of shut-eye. However, you wake up the next morning feeling just as tired, if not more, than the previous evening.
Even after the six to eight recommended hours of rest, you feel as if you’ve slept for four. If you’ve tossed and turned trying to get to sleep, feeling tired makes sense. So, why would you feel equally tired even though you fell asleep immediately?
You might not remember it, but you probably dreamed about the issue that is making your soul tired. Those who remember their dreams often describe them as vivid and disturbing. Such dreams are also exhausting. (Note: This kind of exhaustion is different than normal soul work that happens while you sleep)
2. You have body aches
People who are struggling through a difficult time in their lives complain of physical pain. Tension in the back and neck muscles are common.
When dealing with a life-changing event, the body can be tensed up all the time. The muscles might spasm when tensed for prolonged periods.
Many people complain of phantom pains during times of emotional pain and stress. They might experience sharp or dull pains in their arms or legs. These pains have no physical basis, but they are intense. They are the body’s way of telling the mind that the soul is tired.
3. You have digestive complaints
The four most commonly experienced digestive complaints are gastric reflux, stomach ulcers, diarrhea and constipation. Gastric reflux is the movement of stomach acid into the esophagus. Stomach ulcers are sores that occur in the stomach lining.
Both conditions cause a lot of pain. Self-medicating with substances like aspirin can create these conditions.
Loose stools characterize diarrhea. Constipation is a struggle with having regular bowel movements. Under stress, the body can veer between the two extremes. A person might one day have diarrhea and have constipation the next.
Your mental, spiritual and emotional fatigue can affect your body. They’re the soul’s way of telling the body it’s worn out and tired.
4. You feel emotionally numb
Emotional numbness is described as the inability to process feelings meaningfully. A lot of people prefer to deny the emotions instead of processing them.
This numbness can extend beyond yourself and start affecting your relationships with the other people, family and friends. You might find yourself unable to empathize and relate to others who are also having a hard time. You begin to withdraw and your spirit and soul becomes as numb as your emotions.
5. You can’t explain your feelings
Being overwhelmed by the things going on in your lives, you might not be able to put a name to what you’re feeling. This is quite common, as people experience more than one feeling at a time.
The experience is akin to a roller-coaster ride. People go through a range of emotions when they’re coping with something.
Putting a name to a feeling helps you figure out how to address it. Being unable to name or acknowledge your feelings is a sign your soul is tired.
6. You don’t laugh anymore
Laughter is an expression of joy and happiness but right now, you’re just not feeling joy and happiness. Your soul is exhausted and you feel heavy. This is a clear sign of emotional or spiritual exhaustion.
7. You experience panic attacks
A panic attack can strike with no warning. A sudden wave of anxiety or fear washes over you.
A person having a panic attack may feel their heart pounding, their heart rate increasing and heart palpitations. Sweating, shaking, and hyperventilation can also occur. Some people say they feel like they’re frozen in place while being smothered.
Panic attacks are debilitating and leave the sufferer exhausted afterward. Panic attacks might be the body’s way of telling you that your mind and soul are tired.
8. You feel lost and lonely
Soul exhaustion can lead to feelings of isolation.
Feeling lonely is not good for anyone. Humans are social creatures. We need other people. Right now so many of us are in a forced isolation. We are not allowed to gather or we are afraid to be around other people. This is making our soul exhaustion even worse because we are not able to get out and do things with people. This is especially noticeable for people who are living alone.
9. You feel resentment and anger
A person undergoing intense emotional or mental stress may become angry or resentful with those around them.
As soon as you become angry, the adrenal glands start working. They release the hormone cortisol into the bloodstream. This is the stress hormone we need for physical survival. The heart rate and blood pressure rise in preparation for self-defense.
Continuous episodes of anger place a strain on the body, mind and soul become exhausted. Negative emotions are not meant to be felt for long periods of time.
10. You are afraid of the future
You may feel that they don’t have a future.
Being unable to contemplate a happy future, or even any future at all is a warning sign your soul is exhausted.
11. You lost your passion
People have different passions. Some find passion in their work, while others are passionate about hobbies. A lot of people are excited about changing society and the world. They devote their time to charitable acts and caring for others.
Where you were once like that, you might be finding it hard to remember what made you so passionate and why. It’s likely that right now you’re just trying to get through the day.
This takes enough energy without also having to focus on other things. Your lack of energy reserves makes it hard for you to care about minor trivialities such as the things you used to be passionate about.
When your heart and soul are weary, it’s hard to remember what you were passionate about and why.
12. The ghosts of the past haunt you
Living in the past and living with your regrets but not being able to release them is a sign that your mind, body and spirit needs healing.
13. You feel something is missing
Something is missing, you can feel it in your bones, at the bottom of your soul, but you don’t know what it is. It’s very disconcerting.
14. You don’t want to help others
Your empathy is just gone, you don’t really care what is happening to others. You want to care, you know you are supposed to care, but you are just empty.
15. You make excuses to be alone
We are currently forced to self-isolate in many places, at least physically, but you’re taking it one step further. You aren’t interacting with people at all. You aren’t talking on the phone, you aren’t answering your messages (well, maybe short one answer responses, but that’s not really interacting, is it?)
You simply just want to be alone. All the time. Your mind, body and soul are just so exhausted.
16. You feel unloved
Going through difficult times can leave a person feeling that no one loves them. Even though they might be withdrawing and avoiding people, the person will still feel unloved. They feel alone and also misunderstood. Others might feel unworthy of love and unable to see why they deserve love.
Even though you know you are loved, you cannot feel it. It’s almost like it’s buried deep inside of you and refuses to be acknowledged, or maybe you don’t feel like you deserve to be loved.
17. You are prepared to go against your own morals and principles
Some emotional vulnerability can cause people to make some uncharacteristic decisions and choices. They are not thinking logically, and this can result in reckless behavior.
Others might feel that they don’t have anything to lose, so they do something they normally would not.
Act in haste, repent at leisure, or so they say. The ramifications of a poor decision can be life-altering. A time of emotional turmoil and struggle is not the best time to make big decisions. Even after the situation has passed, a person’s judgment may still be affected.
You know it’s wrong, you know it goes against who you are, but you just can’t seem to get back on track.
18. You don’t recognize yourself
You have changed. We have all changed but now we don’t recognize ourselves.
Who are we now? Who will we become?
19. You feel unmotivated
Not being able to motivate yourself is a red flag.
A human being is motivated from within. Self-motivation is combined with motivation from external sources. Motivation makes people ambitious and able to set goals for themselves. Without motivation, no one would ever try anything new or go out on a limb. Most of the world’s inventions would not have been discovered without a healthy dose of motivation.
When getting out of bed is something you need to motivate yourself to do, your body, mind and soul are exhausted.
20. You often feel disoriented
Have you ever arrived home from work and not remembered the trip home?
You feel like you don’t know whether you’re coming or going. You feel unable to focus and concentrate. This can be a sign that you are mentally, physically and spiritually exhausted.
If you are experiencing many of these symptoms, you need to seek help as soon as possible.
I recommend a holistic practitioner who treats not just the symptoms, but the causes and knows that the mind, body and spirit are all connected and all need to be treated together.